Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday morning.
According to Zacks, “Unum’s premiums continue to increase, fueled by solid persistency levels in core business lines and sturdy volume of sales, along with solid benefits experience. Acquisitions have provided additional support. Starmount Life Insurance Company buyout gave access to growth opportunities in the dental market, which is in sync with its strategy to focus more on the employee benefits business. Sustained favorable performance drives solid capital generation and strong financial flexibility aiding active capital deployment. However, exposure to low interest rate environment remains the key headwind affecting Unum U.K. results. With respect to quarterly results, Unum’s third-quarter earnings per share beat expectations and improved year over year. Strong performances by Unum U.S. and Colonial Life were partially offset by underperformance of Unum U.K.”
Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their target price on Unum Group from $36.00 to $43.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Tuesday, November 15th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Unum Group from $35.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. RBC Capital Markets restated an outperform rating and issued a $43.00 price target (up previously from $36.00) on shares of Unum Group in a research report on Tuesday, November 15th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised their price target on Unum Group from $30.00 to $33.00 and gave the stock a sell rating in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co. started coverage on Unum Group in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. They issued a market perform rating on the stock. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. Unum Group has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $37.71.
Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) opened at 43.04 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $9.99 billion, a P/E ratio of 11.29 and a beta of 1.50. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $37.82 and its 200-day moving average is $35.08. Unum Group has a 52-week low of $23.99 and a 52-week high of $43.47.
Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $0.99 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.04. Unum Group had a return on equity of 10.24% and a net margin of 8.29%. The company earned $2.76 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.74 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.83 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Unum Group will post $3.89 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 18th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 31st were issued a dividend of $0.20 per share. This represents a $0.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.86%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, October 27th. Unum Group’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 20.94%.
In other news, EVP Christopher J. Jerome sold 8,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.49, for a total transaction of $331,920.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Thomas R. Watjen sold 178,927 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.56, for a total value of $6,362,644.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.62% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its position in Unum Group by 100.7% in the second quarter. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 3,876 shares of the company’s stock worth $123,000 after buying an additional 1,945 shares in the last quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. raised its position in Unum Group by 514.2% in the second quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. now owns 3,906 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 3,270 shares in the last quarter. Bellwether Investment Group LLC bought a new position in Unum Group during the second quarter worth approximately $133,000. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd bought a new position in Unum Group during the second quarter worth approximately $134,000. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. raised its position in Unum Group by 9.8% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 4,288 shares of the company’s stock worth $136,000 after buying an additional 384 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 94.12% of the company’s stock.
Unum Group Company Profile
Unum Group is a provider of disability insurance products in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Company provides a portfolio of other insurance products, including employer and employee paid group benefits, life insurance and other related services. Its segments are Unum US, Unum UK, Colonial Life, Closed Block and Corporate.